Monthly Archives: June 2018

At OnTECH we believe every student has a seed of GENIUS—the ability to look at the world with curiosity, ask questions and problem-solve.

Finding GENIUS in your student is OnTECH’s goal.
Growing that seed of GENIUS is our mission.

GENIUS requires a caring and nurturing community. At OnTECH, we respect each child and give each child the opportunity to thrive.

OnTECH Offers

  • Small class sizes
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  • Real-world problem solving
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Students graduate with a NYS high school diploma, employable skills, and meaningful college goals.

OnTECH is now accepting applications for the 9th grade.

Let us find the GENIUS within your child!


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Pursuant to federal regulation 49 C.F.R. Part 26, the Niagara FrontierTransportation Authority (NFTA) is seeking comments on the Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) Program and goals for the Authority. In establishing The DBE goal, the federal regulation require that NFTA consult with stakeholders, which include, minority, women’s and general contractors groups, community organizations and other officials or organizations which may have information concerning availability of disadvantage and non-disadvantaged business, the effects of discrimination on opportunities for DBE’s and efforts to increase DBE participation.

NFTA is providing stakeholders an opportunity to share their views by participating in an open stakeholder meeting to be held as follows:


Location: NFTA

     181 Ellicott Street

      Buffalo, NY 14203

                       Date: Tuesday, June 26, 2018

               Time: 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Please RSVP by: June 21, 2016 – 9:00am by calling (716) 855-7486

If unable to attend the meeting noted above, comments may also be made by calling the EEO/ Diversity Development Department at: (716) 855-7486 prior to June 21, 2018

The Supreme Court on Monday sidestepped a decision on when partisan gerrymandering goes too far, ruling against the challengers of a Republican-drawn map in Wisconsin and a Democratic redistricting in Maryland.

By: Robert James

The rulings in the separate cases once again put off a decision on when courts can find that partisan efforts to keep parties in power goes so far as to be unconstitutional. But the court again left open a path for such challenges.

It was a technical resolution of what has seemed to hold the promise of being a landmark decision about extreme efforts to give one party advantage over another.

While the court routinely polices the drawing of electoral maps to combat racial gerrymandering, it has never found that partisan efforts went too far. It has never settled on a test that judges could use to determine how much politics was too much.

The practical impact of the case is that legislation elections in Wisconsin this year will be conducted using the map challengers said overwhelmingly favors Republicans. The Maryland congressional districts will also remain the same, including the district that challengers said was drawn to elect a Democrat. The incumbent is not running for election.

A pending challenge of North Carolina’s redistricting efforts could provide another case for the justices to consider the issue. In that battleground state, Republicans control 10 of 13 congressional districts. That case has plaintiffs challenging each district.

In the Wisconsin case, the court said that the challenges must be brought district by district, with voters in each proving that their rights had been violated. The challengers asked the court to consider the state map as a whole.

The Maryland case was still at a preliminary stage, and the court in an unsigned opinion said the lower court had not been wrong when it decided not to make the state redraw the maps in time for the 2018 election.

“Today’s decision is yet another delay in providing voters with the power they deserve in our democracy,” said Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. “Partisan gerrymandering is distorting and undermining our representative democracy, giving politicians the power to choose their voters, instead of giving voters the power to choose their politicians. We are disappointed that the Court failed to set a standard when it comes to partisan gerrymandering.”

The majority opinion in the Wisconsin case was written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. He did not appear receptive to the test the challengers had said could be used on a statewide basis to determine whether Democrats had been packed into certain districts, or spread out in others, to dilute their power.

The Supreme Court’s role is to “vindicate the individual rights of the people appearing before it,” he said.

The justices sent the case back to a panel of three federal judges to see whether the challengers could modify their lawsuit to show they have plaintiffs in the individual districts.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the plaintiffs should be able to do so.

“Courts — and in particular this court — will again be called on to redress extreme partisan gerrymanders,” she wrote. “I am hopeful we will then step up to our responsibility to vindicate the Constitution against a contrary law.”

She was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch would have simply ended the Wisconsin case, rather than giving plaintiffs another chance to prove their legal standing.

The Maryland decision was unsigned. It said only that the lower court had not abused its discretion in refusing to order the congressional maps redrawn.

Maryland Democratic leaders set out in 2011 to redraw the state’s congressional districts to boost the likelihood that the party’s 6-to-2 edge in the delegation became 7 to 1.

Former governor Martin O’Malley (D) was frank about the effort in a deposition in the case.

“As the elected governor, I did my duty within the metes and bounds” of Maryland law that set up redistricting as a partisan exercise, O’Malley said. He added that if the reconfigured district “would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican, yes, this was clearly my intent.”

O’Malley also now says he believes redistricting should be done by an independent commission rather than by legislators.

The Democrats targeted longtime Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R), who had been reelected in 2010 by a 28-percentage-point margin, but lost to a Democrat in the redrawn district in 2012 by 21 points.

A Border Patrol agent stands on a ranch fence line with children taken into custody in South Texas brush country north of Laredo, Texas, Tuesday, June 6, 2006. According to agents, the children were separated from their families after the Border Patrol apprehended a large group of immigrants that crossed into the U.S. illegally. They spent the next 11 hours in the brush until agents found them. This came a few hours before President Bush visited the Laredo Border Patrol Sector. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

GINEBRA (AP) — El jefe de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas instó el lunes al gobierno de Estados Unidos a terminar con la nueva política de separar a los niños migrantes de sus padres tras ingresar al país desde México, y añadió que la medida afectó a casi 2.000 menores en las últimas seis semanas.

Es “inconcebible” que ningún país busque disuadir a los padres de emigrar “infligiendo tal abuso a los niños, dijo Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein el lunes en el inicio de una sesión regular del Consejo de Derechos Humanos, la última antes del final de su mandato en agosto.

El príncipe jordano Zeid también mostró su preocupación por países como Nicaragua, Siria, Myanmar, Hungría, Israel, Corea del Norte y las zonas de Cachemira controladas por Pakistán.

El funcionario denunció que los miembros de la ONU no permiten el acceso a los investigadores de derechos humanos, y apuntó que China acumula 15 solicitudes pendientes en los cinco últimos años.

Emitirán a través de celulares, radio y televisión un sistema de aviso y alerta de emergencia, por ejemplo

Este próximo martes 26 de junio, el Negociado para el Manejo de Emergencias y Administración de Desastres (NMEAD) junto con la Agencia Federal parael Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA, en inglés) emitirá a través de los celulares, radio y televisión un sistema de aviso y alerta de emergencia.

El director del Negociado, Carlos Acevedo, explicó que previamente estas alertas las emitía el Servicio Nacional de Meteorología (SNM) cuando lo requería algún evento atmosférico. Se trata del Sistema Integrado Público de Alerta y Avisos (IPAWS, en inglés).

Ahora el Negociado está adquiriendo este sistema de IPAWS y lo vamos a poder activar desde aquí, desde el Negociado”, precisó Acevedo en conferencia de prensa junto a Justo Hernández, coordinador alterno de FEMA.

IPAWS, precisó Acevedo, se puede usar para un evento atmosférico así como inundaciones, crecidas de río, derrames químicos, fuegos de grandes proporciones o desalojos.

Hernández, por su parte, dijo que el mensaje notifica que hay una emergencia. Preguntado sobre cuán estable está el sistema de celulares para emitir el aviso, el funcionario federal sostuvo que de las 2,600 torres que hay en la isla “casi todas están levantadas en este momento. Tenemos algunas que están con arreglos temporeros, pero están mandando la señal”.

Acevedo y Marrero dijeron que este ejercicio permitirá saber qué áreas, si alguna, no están recibiendo el alerta.

Además, este miércoles el Negociado hará un simulacro de un huracán categoría 5 y el jueves unos 24 municipios, del área norte y este, trabajarán con su plan de suministros.

Acevedo indicó que la idea es hacer el ejercicio de suministro con los 78 municipios. A partir del jueves, cada municipio recibirá una paleta de alimentos y tres de agua.

Reconoció, sin embargo, que el Negociado no inspeccionó los centros de almacenaje de los municipios. Destacó que esa tarea se hará después.

Respecto al simulacro de huracán, Acevedo sostuvo que “desde la pasada semana ya los coordinadores de emergencia del Negociado están recibiendo información de por dónde viene el supuesto huracán“.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) on Wednesday said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants “black people to be in the back of the bus again.”

“Sessions, he’d just love for black people to be in the back of the bus again. He’d love for women to be in the kitchen. He’d love for gay people to be in the closet again, and for me, not to have a microphone to be able to speak to anyone,” Gutiérrez said while delivering remarks at a We the People Summit, according to CNN.

The Democratic lawmaker stood by his remarks while appearing on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Out Front” later on Wednesday, saying that he believes “every last thing” he said.

“This is a man that when he came before the Senate to try to become a federal judge, Coretta Scott King came forward. There were all kinds of testimony about him calling black men boys,”said Gutierrez, who is considering running for president in 2020. “This is a man who is trying to strip black people and diminish their voting rights.

Sessions has frequently come under fire over allegations of racist remarks. In 1986, while serving as a U.S. attorney from Alabama, he was denied a federal judgeship after testimonies heard during hearings from the Senate Judiciary Committee alleged he made racist remarks and referred to the NAACP and ACLU as “un-American.”

He addressed those charges head-on in January 2017 while testifying before Congress after being nominated by President Trump to serve as attorney general.

“I do not harbor those kinds of animosities and race-based ideas I was accused of,” Sessions said under questioning from Sen. Dianne Feinstein(D-Calif.).

“I didn’t prepare well in 1986, and there was an effort to characterize me as something untrue,” he added later.

Gutiérrez’s remarks on Wednesday came the same day several Democratic presidential hopefuls at the event sought to impress the left flank of their party.

“When it comes to the Violence Against Women Act — he voted against it. … He’s never stood up for women. You can’t support women against being murdered and raped and abused?” Gutierrez said on Wednesday.

“I look at the man today. The man today is trying to undermine voting rights — voting rights in which black people in this country sacrificed their lives so we could have a Voting Rights Act, a Civil Rights Act,” Gutierrez said. “Sometimes people do one good thing, but that’s not really their record or their history of who they are. Look at who Jeff Sessions is today.

“I am clarifying and amplifying the positions of the extremists, which I believe is very, very important, because when you don’t do that, you allow for the creation of a fascist society. You need to speak out and denounce prejudice, racism, all forms of bigotry, and I will continue to do that in the Congress of the United States.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) called Sessions “a racist and a liar” in April 2017 after the attorney general said he was “amazed” that a federal judge “sitting on an island in the Pacific” could halt the president’s travel ban people from Muslim-majority countries coming to the US.
“We’ve got cases moving in the very, very liberal 9th Circuit, who — they’ve been hostile to the order,” Sessions said in comments that prompted a wave of backlash. He later dismissed criticism of his remarks, saying: “Nobody has a sense of humor anymore.”

El mandatario estadounidense también habría hecho comentarios provocadores a Emmanuel Macron al discutir sobre terrorismo.


La semana pasada, durante la cumbre del G-7 en Canadá, el presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, le dijo al primer ministro japonés, Shinzo Abe, que le enviaría “25 millones de mexicanos”, según dijo a “The Wall Street Journal” un alto funcionario de la Unión Europea que estuvo presente en dicha reunión.

La declaración del magnate se produjo cuando los líderes del G-7 discutían sobre migración, que según Trump era un gran problema para la Unión Europea y Estados Unidos.

“Shinzo, tú no tienes este problema, pero puedo enviarte 25 millones de mexicanos y estarás fuera de tu puesto muy pronto”, dijo Trump, según el funcionario.

Trump también pareció querer provocar al presidente francés Emmanuel Macron cuando los líderes discutieron sobre Irán y el terrorismo, dijo el funcionario al WSJ.

“Debes saber sobre esto, Emmanuel, porque todos los terroristas están en París”, dijo Trump, según el funcionario.

El funcionario citado por el diario estadounidense, señaló que era visible que los líderes estaban irritados con la actitud y las palabras de Trump, “pero todos trataron de ser racionales y tranquilos”.

La cumbre del G-7 eventualmente terminó en desorden luego de que Trump repentinamente revocara su posición sobre el comunicado conjunto que cada uno de los países había acordado firmar, argumentando la promesa del primer ministro canadiense de tomar represalias por los aranceles impuestos por EU.

Trump llegó tarde a la reunión de ese día en el G-7, se fue temprano, y luego atacó al primer ministro de Canadá, Justin Trudeau, al llamarlo “débil” luego de que el canadiense dijera que su país tomaría represalias por los aranceles a las importaciones del acero y el aluminio impuestos por EU.


A mother unleashed a piercing scream as her baby was ripped from her arms during a slave auction. Even as a lash cut her back, she refused to put her baby down and climb atop an auction block.

The woman pleaded for God’s mercy, Henry Bibb, a former slave, recalled in an 1849 narrative that is part of “The Weeping Time” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture, which documents the tragic U.S. history of enslaved children being separated from their enslaved parents. “But the child was torn from the arms of its mother amid the most heart-rending shrieks from the mother and child on the one hand, and the bitter oaths and cruel lashes from the tyrants on the other.”

Her mother was sold to the highest bidder.

Enslaved mothers and fathers lived with the constant fear that they or their children might be sold away.

“Night and day, you could hear men and women screaming … ma, pa, sister or brother … taken without any warning,” Susan Hamilton, another witness to a slave auction, recalled in a 1938 interview. “People was always dying from a broken heart.”

The Trump administration’s current crackdown on families that cross the border illegally has led to hundreds of children, some as young as 18 months, being separated from their parents. The parents are being sent to federal jails to face criminal prosecution while their children are being placed in shelters operated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Often, the children have no idea where their parents are or when they will see them again.

The policy has generated outrage among Democrats and immigration advocates. And it has conjured memories of some of the ugliest chapters in American history.

“Official US policy,” tweeted the African American Research Collaborative over the weekend. “Until 1865, rip African American children from their parents. From 1870s to 1970s, rip Native American children from their parents. Now, rip children of immigrants and refugees from their parents.”

Henry Fernandez, co-founder of the collaborative and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said he drafted the tweet based on his research into several periods in U.S. history when government officials sanctioned the separation of children from their parents, including during slavery.

Another period of family cruelty, Fernandez said, began in the late 1800s and lasted well into the 1970s, when indigenous children across the country were forcibly separated from their families and sent to “Indian schools.” At the boarding schools, the children were required to assimilate. They were stripped of their language and culture. Often they were physically and sometimes sexually abused.

“In each case, we look back at the programs as barbaric,” Fernandez said. “History will similarly consider the Trump administration’s ripping children from their parents as an unconscionably evil government action.”

According to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, beginning in the late 1800s, thousands of American Indian children were sent to government-run or church-run boarding schools.

“Families were often forced to send their children to these schools, where they were forbidden to speak their Native languages,” according to the museum.

The exhibit includes a quote from Richard Henry Pratt, founder of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School: “In Indian civilization I am a Baptist,” Pratt wrote, “because I believe in immersing the Indian in our civilization and when we get them under, holding them there until they are thoroughly soaked.”

At boarding schools, “children were forced to cut their hair and give up their traditional clothing,” according to the museum. “They had to give up their meaningful Native names and take English ones. They were not only taught to speak English, but were punished for speaking their own languages. Their own traditional religious practices were forcibly replaced with Christianity. They were taught that their cultures were inferior. Some teachers ridiculed and made fun of the students’ traditions. These lessons humiliated the students and taught them to be ashamed of being American Indian.”

“They tell us not to speak in Navajo language. You’re going to school. You’re supposed to only speak English. And it was true. They did practice that, and we got punished if you was caught speaking Navajo,” John Brown Jr., a Navajo who served in World War II as a code talker, using his Navajo language for tactical communications the Japanese could not decode, told the National Museum of the American Indian in a 2004 interview.

“When we got talking, ’cause we’re not allowed to talk our tribal language, and then me and my cousin, we get together and we talk in Indian, we always hush up when we see a teacher or faculty coming,” Charles Chibitty, a Comanche code talker, told the museum in 2004. “And then we always laughed and said, ‘I think they’re trying to make little white boys out of us.’ ”

Until the end of the Civil War, it was common for slave owners to rip families apart by selling the children or the parents to other slave owners.

“Along with ongoing rape and the use of the whip to discipline human beings,” Fernandez said, “destroying families is one of the worst things done during slavery. The federal government maintained these evils through the fugitive slave laws and other rules which defined African Americans as property with which a slave owner could do whatever they wanted.”

Each of these U.S. policies, Fernandez said, begins with the assumption “that the idea of family is simply less important to people of color and that the people involved are less than human. To justify ripping families apart, the government must first engage in dehumanizing the targeted group, whether it is Native Americans, African Americans or immigrants from Central America fleeing murder, rape, extortion and kidnapping.”

Trump, he noted, dehumanized immigrant children by saying, “ ‘They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.’ ”

“There is no question these children are innocent,” Fernandez said, “but Trump associates them with the idea that these are not like your children and thus less than human.”

Slave narratives reveal the heart-wrenching stories of children taken from families.

According to the Maryland State Archives:  “For most slave children, the separation from their parents and the siblings was the hardest aspect of being sold. Slaves went to great lengths to keep their family together, but there was often limits to what they could do.”

The report includes a narrative from Charles Ball, who was enslaved as a child and remembered the day he was sold away from his mother.

“My poor mother, when she saw me leaving her for the last time, ran after me, took me down from the horse, clasped me in her arms, and wept loudly and bitterly over me,” Ball recalled. “My master seemed to pity her and endeavored to soothe her distress by telling her that he would be a good master to me, and that I should not want anything.”

Still, his mother would not let go. She walked beside the horse, begging the slave owner to buy her and the rest of her children.

“But whilst thus entreating him to save her and her family,” Ball recalled, “the slave-driver, who had first bought her, came running in pursuit of her with a raw hide in his hand. When he overtook us, he told her he was her master now and ordered her to give that little Negro to its owner and come back with him. My mother then turned to him and cried, ‘Oh, master, do not take me from my child!’ Without making any reply, he gave her two or three heavy blows on the shoulders with his raw hide, snatched me from her arms, handed me to my master, and seizing her by one arm, dragged her back towards the place of sale.”

After the end of the Civil War, thousands of former slaves looked for lost relatives and children who had been sold away from their families. They placed thousands of ads in newspapers.

Mary Bailey searches for her children, Nancy, Ben, Polly, Tempa and Isham Bailey. The ad ran in the Daily Dispatch newspaper in Richmond on Nov. 24, 1866.

Those ads are now being digitized in a project called “Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery,” which is run by Villanova University’s graduate history program in collaboration with Philadelphia’s Mother Bethel AME Church.

The ads started appearing about 1863. By 1865, when the Civil War ended, they were coming out in streams, thousands of “Information Wanted” notices in black-owned newspapers across the country, seeking any help to find loved ones.

Mothers looked for their children; children looked for their mothers; fathers placed ads for lost sons; sisters looked for sisters; husbands sought their wives; wives tried to find their husbands.

The ads often gave detailed physical descriptions of the missing, names of former slave owners, locations where family members were last seen, and sometimes maps, tracing how many times they were sold from one owner to the next until they were so far from family members all they had to cling to were sketchy memories.

Elizabeth Williams, who had been sold twice since she last saw her children, placed a heart-wrenching ad in the Christian Recorder newspaper in Philadelphia:

“INFORMATION WANTED by a mother concerning her children,” Williams wrote March 17, 1866.

In four column inches, the mother summed up her life, hoping the details would help her find the children. She listed their names — Lydia, William, Allen and Parker — and explained in a few words that she last saw them when they were “formerly owned together” by a man named John Petty, who lived about six miles from Woodbury, Tenn.

She explained how her family was split apart when she was sold again and taken farther south into captivity.

“She has never seen the above-named children since,” the ad said. “Any information given concerning them, however, will be gratefully received by one whose love for her children survives the bitterness and hardships of many long years spent in slavery.”

Read more Retropolis:

Martin Luther King Jr. met Malcolm X just once. The photo still haunts us with what was lost.

Recy Taylor’s brutal rape: The NAACP sent Rosa Parks to investigate

When Portland banned blacks: Oregon’s shameful history as an ‘all-white’ state

The preacher who used Christianity to revive the Ku Klux Klan

Most Fed officials now expect at least four rate increases will be needed this year

WASHINGTON—Federal Reserve officials signaled Wednesday they could pick up the pace of interest-rate increases this year and next to keep a rapidly expanding economy on an even keel.

Central bank officials voted unanimously to raise their benchmark federal-funds rate by a quarter-percentage point to a range between 1.75% and 2%. It is their second rate rise this year, and they penciled in a total of four increases for 2018, up from a projection of three at their March meeting.

“The decision you see today is another sign that the U.S. economy is in great shape,” said Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at a press conference following the Fed’s two-day policy meeting. “Growth is strong. Labor markets are strong. Inflation is close to target.”

Eight of 15 Fed officials now expect at least four rate increases will be needed this year, up from seven in March and four in December.

Stocks fell as investors calculated higher borrowing costs could weigh on earnings. Major stock indexes were little changed ahead of the decision but later wobbled and closed near session lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 119.53 points, or 0.5%, to 25201, and U.S. government bond yields climbed after the decision, with the 10-year Treasury rising to 2.979% from 2.959% on Tuesday. Yields rise as prices fall.

“One more person out of 15 now sees four hikes instead of three. For markets, that’s a big deal. For economists, maybe not,” said Mike Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Fed officials have upgraded considerably their economic outlook over the past year—first because of a synchronized upturn in global growth beginning last summer, and later after Congress approved stimulus in the form of tax cuts and increased federal spending.

Other changes in the Fed’s outlook Wednesday were relatively minor and paint an optimistic picture for the U.S. economy despite some recent risks from abroad, including trade tariffs, potential political turmoil in Europe and volatility in emerging-market economies.

“It’s a stay-the-course story,” said Roberto Perli, an analyst at research firm Cornerstone Macro. Because it is too soon to judge how much any of the international risks pose to U.S. growth, “they are right to take a wait-and-see approach here,” he said.

Most Fed officials expect the central bank will need to raise rates at least three more times next year and at least once more in 2020, leaving rates in a range between 3.25% and 3.5% by the end of 2020, the same end point officials projected in March.

“Officials seem more comfortable about both the consequences of past actions and their policy intentions,” said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz SE, the German insurance giant.

The new interest-rate guidance shows the U.S. central bank sticking to a plan to raise short-term rates above a so-called neutral level that would neither stimulate nor slow the economy. It also suggests officials expect to reach that neutral level slightly sooner than before, most likely in about a year.

In a further reflection of the Fed’s changing policy footing, the postmeeting statement dropped language added four years ago that said officials expected to hold their benchmark rate “for some time” below neutral.

Officials modified their economic forecasts slightly, projecting modestly stronger growth and inflation this year and lower unemployment than they had in March. They didn’t change their view about the rates of growth, unemployment or inflation they expect over the long run, a sign they see most of the recent fiscal stimulus fading eventually.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Mr. Powell also said he expected temporary factors, such as a recent rise in oil prices, to push inflation above the Fed’s 2% target this summer, but he dismissed the development as a short-lived one that would have “little, if any, consequence for inflation over the next few years.”

Their estimate of the neutral fed-funds rate didn’t change compared with projections released in March. Nine of 14 officials put it at either 2.75% or 3%.

The increase announced Wednesday will leave the fed-funds rate around 1 percentage point below that neutral level. But because many officials expect they will need to raise rates above neutral to a level that would slow growth, they face difficult debates ahead over how much higher to lift rates, and at what pace.

The challenge for central bankers is to boost borrowing costs enough to prevent the economy from overheating, but not so much that it tips into recession.

Fed Raises Interest Rates, Sets Stage for Two More Increases in 2018

“As the economy has strengthened and as we’ve gradually raised interest rates, the question comes into view of, how much longer will you need to be accommodative and how will you know?” said Mr. Powell. “We’ll be guided by incoming data on the economy.”

These are very different tensions than the one the Fed faced in recent years, when it repeatedly delayed raising rates from near zero amid a fitful U.S. recovery and financial turbulence abroad.

“I would say I like the results so far,” said Mr. Powell. “We’ve been very, very careful not to tighten too quickly…We had a lot of encouragement to go much faster and I’m really glad we didn’t.“

Mr. Powell’s predecessor, Janet Yellen, frequently reminded the public that monetary policy wasn’t on a “pre-set” path. Mr. Powell’s briefing suggested greater conviction about where policy needs to go and implies policy is in fact on autopilot, said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays.

“The data will tell them when they should get off that path,” said Mr. Gapen.

Mr. Powell also said next year he would convene a press conference after every policy meeting rather than every other meeting. Since beginning press conferences in 2011, the Fed fell into the pattern of making major policy changes only at meetings followed by a news conference.

The tactic helped the Fed leader communicate its policy changes in more detail than its postmeeting statement, but it lulled markets into thinking the central bank wouldn’t act between press conferences.

Some traders had viewed the change as hawkish because it would free the Fed to raise rates more frequently. But Mr. Powell said the change was purely to improve the Fed’s communications and shouldn’t send any signal about its policy intentions.

“That is just a communications story,” said Mr. Perli. “I don’t think the number of rate hikes changes because of that, but they have more flexibility in raising rates in May instead of June if they want to.”

El precio del crudo se ha duplicado con creces desde que cayó a menos 30 dólares el barril a principios de 2016,

Por: AP

El presidente Donald Trump dice que los precios del petróleo son demasiado altos y que la culpa es de la OPEP, y es indudable que muchos estadounidenses piensan lo mismo.

Pero la realidad es más complicada.

El precio del crudo se ha duplicado con creces desde que cayó a menos 30 dólares el barril a principios de 2016, y los conductores estadounidenses están pagando los precios más altos por la gasolina desde fines de 2014.

El miércoles, el precio promedio nacional de un galón de gasolina regular era de 2.91 dólares (76 centavos por litro), 25% más que hace un año, según el club de automovilistas AAA.

“Los precios de petróleo están demasiado altos, la OPEP vuelve a las andadas. “¡No está bien!”, tuiteó el presidente el miércoles.

Los miembros de la OPEP, encabezados por Arabia Saudí, y otros grandes productores como Rusia cumplieron un papel importante para revertir la caída de los precios que comenzó en 2014. Han actuado disciplinadamente para reducir la producción desde inicios del año pasado, lo cual ha ayudado a elevar el precio de referencia internacional del crudo.

Pero los precios ya estaban aumentando debido a la mayor demanda y a la expectativa de que una fuerte reducción de las inversiones por parte de las compañías petroleras reduciría la oferta.

“Con el tiempo hubiera sucedido de todas maneras debido a la reducción de las inversiones (en las perforaciones), pero sin duda el recorte de producción de la OPEP ayudó a acelerar la reducción de la sobreoferta”, dijo el analista Phil Flynn, de The Price Futures Group.

Algunos calculan que la reducción de las inversiones por parte de las grandes petroleras como Exxon Mobil, Chevron y BP fue de más de 1 billón de dólares. Es como si se eliminara al cuarto exportador del mundo, dijo Flynn.

En tanto, la producción de Venezuela _un gran exportador de crudo a Estados Unidos_ ha caído debido a la crisis política y económica que atraviesa el país. La mayoría de los analistas prevén que la producción venezolana caerá aún más.

También está el caso de Irán, el tercer mayor productor de la OPEP. La nación islámica aumentó la producción de crudo después que Estados Unidos levantó en 2016 las sanciones relacionadas con su programa nuclear, pero los analistas prevén que la producción vuelva a caer a fin de año cuando se sientan de lleno los efectos de la decisión de Trump de retirarse del acuerdo.

El tuit de Trump se publicó una semana antes de la reunión de la OPEP prevista para la próxima semana, y podría tener la intención de influir en las discusiones.

“Los tuits del presidente le están diciendo a los otros países productores de petróleo que aumenten su producción para compensar los declives que se prevén en las exportaciones de crudo iraní”, dijo Daniel Yergin, vicepresidente de la firma de investigación IHS Markit y autor de varios libros sobre la industria energética.


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